California Court Records

Name Phone Number License Plate VIN
Name Phone Number License Plate VIN

How to Run a California Court Records Search

California is home to a complex and extensive court system, with various types, handling different types of cases. It can be overwhelming to navigate the California legal system. In this article, we will discuss how to obtain a copies of records, and the different types of courts in California.

To begin your California court records search you will need to gather some important information to begin. You can search via the CA case number or by the person’s first and last name, and date of birth if you know it. The case number is easier to search with since it will point to the exact documents you are looking for.

California Court Records are Public Record

California court records are public records that document the proceedings and decisions of the state. These records are maintained by the state of California and are available for public access. These records can include information such as case details, dockets and orders, and judgments. They are an important resource for legal professionals, researchers, and individuals seeking information about a particular case.

Obtain a Copy of California Public Court Records

There are a couple of options when researching CA court case information. You can either search directly from the relevant website where the case was heard, or via public record sites with a first and last name.

Searching For Records via Court Websites

To obtain a copy of a court record in California, you can request it from the courthouse where the case was heard. Each courthouse has its own process for requesting records, but generally, you will need to fill out a request form and pay a fee. Some offer online access to electronic records, which can be accessed online for a fee. It is important to note that some records may be restricted from public access, such as juvenile records or sealed records.

Searching For Records via Public Record Sites

You can also run a California court record search through public record websites. These are good options for those that want to do a little research or find someone’s criminal history. All you need is a first and last name and you can search statewide using this resource. Another benefit that a lot of people like is you can search without anyone knowing.

What you can find using this method is quite extensive. You can locate a person’s civil records, criminal records, driving records, arrests, convictions, prison and jail records. Essentially, you will be able to run a comprehensive background check on anyone.

You can also find free California court records you can find online. However, for more detailed information or copies of documents, you will need to pay a small fee.

Criminal Record Search

Types of Records That Are Publicly Available

California Superior Courts and Their Function

The Superior Courts deal with trials of general jurisdiction in California. They handle a wide range of cases, including civil, criminal, family, and probate cases. They also have the authority to hear appeals from cases. Each county in California is responsible for maintaining it’s own records for their respective counties.

If you need assistance finding any records from these branches, try consulting the clerk of the courts. They are a great resource if you are stuck or cannot find what you are looking for.

California County Courts

In addition to the Superior Courts, California also has county courthouses that handle limited jurisdiction cases. These handle cases such as traffic violations, small claims, and misdemeanors.

Counties are also responsible for maintaining records and documents for their respective counties. These are the most commonly visited courthouses. They are a good starting point.

You will need to know the county where the case was heard to begin your search. You will also need to know the person’s name or case number. If you do not know the county to search, try using a public record site. You can quickly search statewide with just a name.

California Probate Courts

Probate courts in California handle cases related to the distribution of a deceased person’s estate. These courthouses oversee the distribution of assets and the payment of debts and taxes. Probate records can be found through the Superior Court in the county where the deceased person lived.

California District Courts

District courts in California are federal courthouses that handle cases involving federal laws and the U.S. Constitution. Each district has jurisdiction over cases such as bankruptcy, civil rights, and immigration. District records can be accessed through the federal judicial online system, PACER.

California Judicial System

The California judicial system plays a crucial role in ensuring justice and upholding the rule of law. It is a complex network of judicial and legal services that serve the diverse needs of the state’s population.

From the Superior Courts that handle a wide range of cases, to county level cases that less smaller legal matters. As well as the probate circuit that oversees the distribution of estates, each court serves a specific purpose.

This well-structured system offers several benefits to the public. These include access to public records, the resolution of disputes, protection of individual rights. And most importantly, orchestrating the maintenance of law and order.


California court records are an important resource for anyone seeking information about a case. Understanding the different types of jurisdictions in California and their functions, you can better navigate the California legal system. It will simplify finding the information you need.

Remember to follow the specific procedures when requesting any documentation or information. Make sure be aware of any restrictions on public access to certain records. While most of this information is considered public domain, certain restrictions apply. Such as to juvenile records, those sensitive in nature and those that involve national security issues.

California Court Records

California Court Records - FAQ

Can I run a free California court record search?

Yes, with online public record websites you can find a lot of free information. You can quickly search with a first and last name and your inquiry will be anonymous. If you need copies of documents or more detailed information you may have to pay a nominal fee.

Can I obtain criminal records through California court records?

Yes, you can find detailed information about a person's criminal history. By searching these records, you can find a person's arrests, convictions, prison and jail records, and complete criminal history.

Are California court case records public records?

Yes, these records are considered public domain. This means that anyone can access and view another person's records online without asking permission.

What information do I need to begin a California court records search?

You will need to either know that person's full name or the case number associated with the record you want to look up. A good place to start your search is through a public record website. There you can search statewide from the convenience of your home.

Can I run a background check on someone through the California courts?

You can find a lot of information using that method however, for a complete background check you may want to use a public record website. They will be able to index a lot more information than any other resource. They specialize in comprehensive background checks in California.

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Responses to “California Court Records

  1. says:

    Margie, unfortunately we could not locate the CA court documents you are looking for. These are very old court records that may not have been digitally transcribed for online access. That said, you can also try looking up California Newspaper Archives to see if anything was published on this California court case

  2. says:

    I’m looking into a very old court case On William H. Molkentin D.O.B.Sept. 21,1884 in N.J. He lived in California in 1920-1933 could be longer. His 19402 william molkentin violg Sec 288, PC assigned to Dept ^ on dec 22 19402 william Violg Sec 288 PC def. order to Dentention Hospital. wanted to know if I could get a copy of what happen in the case. He is my Grandfather Charles Molkentin brother .Hope you can help me with the outcome of what happen to him.

    Thank You, Margie Molkentin- Eden

  3. says:

    My name is Mcdonald Giron Cantor why is there a 37 and a 40 year old in may 2021 i turned 38.. My first name is Mcdonald my last name is Giron my mothers maiden is Cantor.
    Also im checking for any police records in the county of san bernardino california as well as any court records investigations if its possible

  4. says:

    Bettie, unfortunately we won’t have any complaint related information if it’s an ongoing or speculative California court case. You may want to reach out to the clerk of the court in the San Diego county courthouse to inquire about the apartment complex you mentioned

  5. says:

    how do i find out if any suits have been filed against an apartment complex in San Diego,CA

  6. says:

    Elizabeth, we are happy to run a California court record lookup for you for reference. We’ll need to know your full name and age to proceed. If you need a copy of your actual CA court record then you will need to contact the clerk of the court in the county where you have such record.

  7. says:

    I looked up my record and said I have a charge in 1999 and I didn\’t live in California in that year I would like a copy of my record there

  8. says:

    Mercedes, child protective court records are not a California public record so you will need to reach out to the relevant courthouse clerk and make your request with them. All juvenile and child court records are sealed and are not accessible by the public. This is the case for every state in the USA

  9. says:

    Is there a way I can get my court reports from when I entered the Santa Cruz County child protective services

  10. says:

    Rhonda, we are happy to search our California court records database for you. We’ll need the full name and age of the person in question and we’ll let you know what we find for San Bernadino superior court records.

  11. says:

    Is there a way to find public records online for superior court in san Bernardino county? I also would like to see police reports if that is available?

  12. says:

    Phyllis, it’s understandable that you’re upset but unfortunately there is nothing we can directly assist you with. We are merely a public records website. You may want to consult another California attorney to find out what your rights are. It is illegal for someone to harass you and there might be a way to mitigate your situation that another lawyer or law firm can assist you with.

  13. says:

    I have an attorney\’s office threatening me. The case # is 595720-06. Their # is (626) 572-9421. The name of their firm is Tristan & McLarry. Her name is Natalia. They are also contacting my relatives. This started because I refused to cash/ deposit a fraudulent check from Select Health. Please help me.

  14. says:

    Unfortunately Richard, we do not have the ability to lookup California court records from an ongoing Probate Court Case. Your might want to contact the courthouse clerk and inquire with them about the probate process and how much longer this will take.

  15. says:

    Wondering what is taking so long with finishing up the probate case with my Grandfather Grant Tinker (R.I.P.) and his horible excuse of a human being widow Brooke Knapp. Everyone came to an agreement weeks ago. Still waiting for Judges signature.

  16. says:

    Your best option to obtain a copy of a California Dismissed Court Case is to contact the California courthouse, where your court case was heard, and talk to the courthouse clerk. They will be able to assist you with a copy of your dismissed CA court case.

    That being said we did find a California court case that was traffic related. The CA court case ID is M685423HALSAD

    Lookup a Dismissed California Court Case

    1. Contact the relevant courthouse clerk
    2. Request a copy of a dismissed court case
    3. Show proof of a government issued photo ID
    4. Pay the fee for a copy of the dismissed cour case
    5. Processing by mail might take several weeks

  17. says:

    Im trying to located and get a copy of an old case that was dismissed. It happened in los Angeles ca in April of 2007.

  18. says:

    Thankyou for sharing and we completely understand that you want to get a hold of this person yet remain anonymous. We ran a California inmate search and did not find any specific information, such as location or contact information, for the California inmate you mentioned. We did find his California criminal records but not any specific information that might help you contact him. You might want to reach out to the California Department of Corrections website and use their Free California Offender Search to locate the whereabouts of the person in question. We have included a link below to better assist you. Please reach out if there are any additional California court records or California public records we can assist you with.

    Click Here to Use the California Department of Corrections Free Inmate Search

  19. says:

    Looking for the location and Inmate number for Harry Lavon Rowley. I am a victim of his child abuse back in 1983. I want to write him and tell him that I forgive him. BUT! I do not want him to know where I am or how to get ahold of me. I need to forgive him for my healing purposes.

  20. says:

    We don’t have any record of David Chance being release from San Quinten prison. You can visit the California Department of Corrections website and lookup an inmates location with a first and last name or DOC number.

  21. says:

    I would like to know if David B. CHANCE was ever released from San Quinten prison. And if so where he might be located?

  22. says:

    We are happy to assist you with locating a California court record or court case information. However, if you are looking for a background check for employment verification we cannot assist you unfortunately. Our California public record resources are for online reference only and cannot be used for employment hiring, employment verification, tenant screening or security clearances. That being said, you might consider companies like as they offer FCRA certified services that can be used for employment verification in California.

  23. says:

    Looking for employment verification & phone #

  24. says:

    In order to get a copy of your California Divorce Papers you will need to contact the superior court where your California divorce decree was filed.

    Get a Copy of California Divorce Papers

    1. Visit the superior court where your divorce was filed
    2. Request a copy of your divorce certificate from the court clerk
    3. Pay the $15 for the fee. Processing times may take a few months

  25. says:

    I like to know the divorce papers of raul a aguero

  26. says:

    Unfortunately we don’t have the lien information for vehicles in our California vehicle record database. You best bet would be to contact the California DMV and request a vehicle lien record search.

  27. says:

    Request if their is a Lien on land 9565 Buttemere Road, Calif, 92371


Reviewed 2018-04-13T21:11:23, by Rose W   5/5 Stars

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Reviewed 2018-04-13T21:13:24, by Joe D   5/5 Stars

This is my first time to use this service and I’m surprised how quick and easy the whole experience was.  I have referred the site to a few friends as well.

Errors – no results
Reviewed 2018-04-13T21:14:39, by Ashlynn S.   3/5 Stars

Resulted in 404 error when I tried searching the first time.  I was able to run and additional search with a result but the first time I had a problem.

Lots of results
Reviewed 2018-04-24T12:50:07, by Randy M   5/5 Stars

I would recommend to others I am happy with the number of results I found when doing a search on California Court records to find out some info for my family.

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Last Updated: 2023-11-29

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